Extra Punctuation: What Is the Matter with You People?

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What Is the Matter with You People?

Yahtzee talks about the context of "shocking moments" in MW3 and Skyrim.

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True enough, killing children is not something you should want to do. But I still want to be capable of harming(fist in face) them if only to shut their annoying face up. It's like the parents in this game don't bother raising thier kids. Most annoying little shits I have seen for a long time in gaming.

The euro aversion to child murdering goes back to the Fallout series. Specifically Fallout 2, after laws were passed banning the depiction of child violence in video games. This had the hilarious consequence of having invisible children in the game that you couldn't target, but who would occasionally toss out subtitles, and whom you could catch in the crossfire and accidentally kill. You couldn't see them dying, but you could hear it. It is, in fact, a joke in Fallout 3 and Skyrim, where they made a village of invincible children assholes in FO3 and they made almost every child in Skyrim just as big an asshole. When I see a dragon slaughter everyone in a town, I want them to be dead, not with 5 children standing calmly around the flaming corpses.

I agree completely... though Bethesda didn't need to rub it in our faces by making them all so obnoxious D:

I too have wondered why killing children is so important to gamers.

Maybe it's just that same "allure of the taboo" thing, that explains why the most sex-o-phobic countries are the most sex-obsessed countries? Even in fictional media where people are butchered left and right, killing kids is this shocking and controversial thing, so people enjoy doing it, just to act out?

That doesn't make it any less disturbing, though... especially when child-murdering is usually one of the first things to get modded, but a child-fucking mod would most likely be this controversial and horrible thing that no one would touch.

Consider these two scenarios:
1) A dragon attacks a town, everybody dies, except the children.
2) A super-Casanova comes to a town and fucks everybody, except the children.

I think the exception for children in the first one is completely unrealistic, while in the second one it seems very plausible. There's no reason why a dragon (or any other wild beast or force of nature) would spare children, but there is a very good reason why this casanova would not want to do children. Furthermore, I think Yahtzee's argument only holds if rape were a standard option in the game. If we're talking about consensual sex, it is again entirely likely that you'd be able to screw adults but not children.

The main reason I add in certain mods like the "child killing" mod in Skyrim is because they make the kids so fething irritating.

That little shit in Whiterun, the one that runs past you saying "i'm not scared of you, even if you are my elder" .... really, well then eat my axe you gobby little shit.

No, no I can't nor would I want to do it in real life.

And there lies the point.

Skyrim isn't real life, it doesn't even come close to real life. If something annoys me in a game I can kill it. If I don't like certain NPC's I can kill them. If i'm bored I can go on a rampage throughout the game world and kill everything.

It's a bloody game, it's pixels.

"Oh no, you killed those children you horrible murderer"

Now marvel as I reload to an earlier save and they are alive again ... it's magic.

First Page: no complaints there, useless shock is indeed lazy, as well as also being self-destructive in the sense of the more you do it, the more shocking it has to be. Sooner or later it just peaks and then drops in an unsatisfying plunge. Also, to be fair child death in that of itself isn't actually that shocking, in the sense that at that point in a shooter so many other people have died that really, is it that odd that a kid dies?

Second Page: I guess I'm conflicted here. On the one hand I won't go out of my way to acquire a child-killing mod or demand that developers must let me kill children in the game from the start, but on the other hand I don't think there is anything wrong with either prospect. This actually was something that annoyed me last year in my film class, as we were watching a movie where they basically built up this scene where a baby in a carriage would fall down a flight of stairs and die, but in the end is miracously saved by this guy who just killed 3 people in that area (he was a hitman) in a way that could only be explained as "Cliche Heroic Moment". What I'm getting at is that this assumption that kids should never die in movies or games seems out of place, especially if in these movies or games they toy with the idea that they may just die but some sudden thing of the moment saves them. To me it just seems like side-stepping an issue that really isn't an issue. Children die all the time, hell there are always commericals about how they die everyday. I think we can accept that children are just as mortal as adults.

I suspect that the modders who claim that they want more immersion with child killing are simply hiding the fact that they just want to stab some obnoxious brats in the face. They won't say this aloud, of course, since "I enjoy slaughtering children" is typically frowned upon, but I strongly suspect that their excuse for creating Mortal Children mods is false.

That said, I support the existence of such mods; I don't believe children to be so sacred and innocent that people shouldn't be allowed to kill them in virtual worlds on their own time.

True, it would be creepy to see a children of the corn moment where everyone in town is dead from a dragon attack except the children all standing around the flaming corspes. Maybe they could turn that into a mission however, where the children were actually controlling a dragon? I don't know what to say about this whole being able to murder the kids though, mainly cause that never crosses my mind when I play games. Now, those freaking beggers and minstrels in Assassin's Creed though.......

It would probably be less of an issue if the Skyrim modders would pick their words with a bit more care and call it say "No NPC Immortality Mod" rather than "Child Killing Mod" (see the original thread in gen discussion that sparked the debate off here.)

I can see both sides of the argument, and Bethesda have more or less invited the modders to do this by on the one hand emphasising the open ended anyone-can-die gameplay and on the other hand actually putting children in the game. Look at [Prototype], a game which raises collateral damage to an art form and where it's virtually impossible not to slaughter a hundred civilians every time you so much as walk down the street and which sensibly has zero child npcs.

Mayor MacReady (sp?) in Little Lamplight, Fallout 3. THAT is the reason why I should be able to kill the gobby little shits. Or at least have non-lethal ways to shut them up (and no, the mute button doesn't count).

How about not putting children in games at all, if you can't handle them dying in a virtual world.

Would be better option than making them immortal.

Funny enough I seem to remember you complaining about NOT being able to kill children in a game yourself Mr Crowshaw. Fable 2 i think it was, Saying something about "So much for total freedom ey?" "Suddenly we're getting off-message" I don't think it so much that children are the only ones you can't kill, but more that children are the only ones who can't die. If I can kill everything else and everything else can kill everything else, why do the kids get a free pass? And I doubt people would mind so such but it seems that the kids have become aware of their invulnerably in almost every game they are in and won't stop taunting the player about it.

But you won't be happy until someone makes a mod that allows you marry Barbas will you?

Rawne1980:
The main reason I add in certain mods like the "child killing" mod in Skyrim is because they make the kids so fething irritating.

That little shit in Whiterun, the one that runs past you saying "i'm not scared of you, even if you are my elder" .... really, well then eat my axe you gobby little shit.

It's a bloody game, it's pixels.

In that regard why would you care if they insult you when they're only pixels?

As I said in the child killing mod thread, I don't mind killing kids if the game has the proper story-based context, like say Lord of the Flies. But offing kids just for general stress relief is not my cup of tea at all.

What about "Skyrim Sex Life"
which is just about killing women and artfully placing them because you cannot have as many wives as he wants?

http://kotaku.com/5863096/a-peek-inside-the-home-of-skyrims-first-serial-killer

This piece reminds me of that.

Sylocat:
I too have wondered why killing children is so important to gamers.

Maybe it's just that same "allure of the taboo" thing, that explains why the most sex-o-phobic countries are the most sex-obsessed countries? Even in fictional media where people are butchered left and right, killing kids is this shocking and controversial thing, so people enjoy doing it, just to act out?

That doesn't make it any less disturbing, though... especially when child-murdering is usually one of the first things to get modded, but a child-fucking mod would most likely be this controversial and horrible thing that no one would touch.

It has nothing to do with the fact that killing children is taboo.

It's that Bethesda knows how to make the most fucking annoying twats in existence. Besides that, if I'm going to raze a town to the ground, I want everyone to die. Men, women, children, quest-essential NPCs...everyone.

DVS BSTrD:
Funny enough I seem to remember you complaining about NOT being able to kill children in a game yourself Mr Crowshaw. Fable 2 i think it was.

I don't remember that, though I do remember the words "and another thing, why can't I marry my dog?!" from one of the Fable reviews.

But that's a whole different issue of player choice being restricted, and probably best left to Bioware's Dragon Age forums...

BlackStar42:
Mayor MacReady (sp?) in Little Lamplight, Fallout 3. THAT is the reason why I should be able to kill the gobby little shits. Or at least have non-lethal ways to shut them up (and no, the mute button doesn't count).

Child At Heart perk.

Boom, Little Lamplight is the best town in the entire game.

OT: So I'm assuming that your "murder the children" bit in the Fable 2 review was a joke?

I, for one, want to exchange insurance information in Saints Row.

I admit, I got that Skyrim mod myself =/

I'm roleplaying a Good/kind Nord Warrior, who doesn't steal or murder innocent, and he will go out of his way most of the time to help others. But he's also a werewolf, and he will uncontrollably transform into the beast every now and then (I have actually dediced beforehand that it will be every 6th or 8th night xD )and when he transforms, he will go completely berserk and just hunt everything and everyone in sight. And when I realized that the children got out completely unscathed, it weakened the roleplay aspect for me.

In Fallout 3, I was annoyed by children in Little Lamplight. My character was a complete asshole, who didn't give a fuck about the children, they didn't let him pass, so he used force. But noticed that they were invulnerable.

It isn't really about the child killing for me, it just annoys me that when these games are about killing, why are these children an exception? I don't think your pedophile- example is a correct one here, since these games mechanisms don't revolve around sex, they revolve around killing things. And it just doesn't sit well with me that the children are invulnerable.
Yes, I am ready to kill pixel children for the sake of my roleplaying. And that is my choice.

Yahtzee Croshaw:
Extra Punctuation: What Is the Matter with You People?

Yahtzee talks about the context of "shocking moments" in MW3 and Skyrim.

Read Full Article

We've moved away from such moments having function, to simply existing for their own sake. The "shock" used to be a hammer with which the story hit you over the head so that its message would have real force behind it. It was a tool, used for a purpose. Now it's just, Look here: We have a hammer. But no one's using it for anything.

As with the genitals, it's not the size that matters, but rather how it's used -- except in this case, it's actually true, and not just something we say to make the li'l fellas feel better. And introducing a shock and doing nothing with it is akin to sticking it in and laying completely still.

(As for the killing of kids, I think an acceptable compromise would be to link each child to an adult NPC. If the adult is killed, the child simply fades out. This way, the "whole village" is killed, but there is no need to depict dead kids -- what, are you going to loot them? -- and no need to empower the player to kill them.)

Interesting aside - should a child player be able to kill children in Skyrim?

Maybe its because I work around a large number of kids and teens with a criminal record and conduct disorder, but I don't see what the hell is annoying about Skyrim's kids.

I played hide-and-seek with a little girl in Whiterun yesterday. Though she did cheat and counted too fast when I went to hide. But then again...so did I.

Maybe The Escapist just attracts an unusually large number of child haters.

Kopikatsu:
It has nothing to do with the fact that killing children is taboo.

It's that Bethesda knows how to make the most fucking annoying twats in existence. Besides that, if I'm going to raze a town to the ground, I want everyone to die. Men, women, children, quest-essential NPCs...everyone.

How about the idea I mentioned above: Each kid is linked to a particular adult (or pair of adults) in town. If said adult(s) is/are killed, the child vanishes from the game world. No leftovers, no invulnerable kids, but no direct killing or portrayal of killing kids. Acceptable compromise?

DVS BSTrD:
Funny enough I seem to remember you complaining about NOT being able to kill children in a game yourself Mr Crowshaw. Fable 2 i think it was, Saying something about "So much for total freedom ey?"

Oh indeed, nice bit of hypocricy here.

DustyDrB:

Maybe The Escapist just attracts an unusually large number of child haters.

Child haters? Really?

Just because we don't particularly enjoy immortal children in VIDEO GAMES. That's bit judgemental don't you think.

Sometimes I miss growing up in the shadow of the Cold War. While there were plenty of "think of the children!" busybodies, their concerns didn't seem quite as weighty when we were all 15 minutes away from being reduced to radioactive ash.

I don't want to go out of my way to kill children in a game. But if it actually makes sense in the story for children to die (e.g., Heavy Rain), games should be no more restricted in this than any other artistic medium.

ravenshrike:
When I see a dragon slaughter everyone in a town, I want them to be dead, not with 5 children standing calmly around the flaming corpses.

This. A savage massacre of this scale kind of loses its gravity when everyone under the age of 13 is magically invulnerable to it. You want one or two shell-shocked survivors still in the cellar where mom hid them for dramatic purposes? Fantastic. But having a whole village reduced to a pile of ash but half a dozen kids cluster around completely unscathed? Talk about immersion-breaking.

Dastardly:
How about the idea I mentioned above: Each kid is linked to a particular adult (or pair of adults) in town. If said adult(s) is/are killed, the child vanishes from the game world. No leftovers, no invulnerable kids, but no direct killing or portrayal of killing kids. Acceptable compromise?

This works for me.

DVS BSTrD:
Funny enough I seem to remember you complaining about NOT being able to kill children in a game yourself Mr Crowshaw. Fable 2 i think it was.

Ooh, shit's getting real. I love the fact that he quoted that facebook post though. Now I know he at least glances at feedback.

Dastardly:

Kopikatsu:
It has nothing to do with the fact that killing children is taboo.

It's that Bethesda knows how to make the most fucking annoying twats in existence. Besides that, if I'm going to raze a town to the ground, I want everyone to die. Men, women, children, quest-essential NPCs...everyone.

How about the idea I mentioned above: Each kid is linked to a particular adult (or pair of adults) in town. If said adult(s) is/are killed, the child vanishes from the game world. No leftovers, no invulnerable kids, but no direct killing or portrayal of killing kids. Acceptable compromise?

Acceptable compromise. Make it so that if the parents die, the kid vanishes.

I'm down with that.

Edit: While we're on the subject, I'd like it if guards stopped spawning if all non-guard NPCs in the town are killed, and that quest essential NPCs can be killed. I don't remember if it was Morrowind or Oblivion, but one of them let you kill anyone. If they were quest related, you just failed the quest. If they were main quest related, you just got a message saying 'And then the world lost it's only hope. Do you wish to continue playing in the doomed world you've created or reload a save?'

The reason I'm in favour of child-killing mods can be explained with my experience in New Vegas.

I was roleplaying as a psychotic, bloodthirsty character--not really what usually comes to mind when one says "evil", though, because he kills everyone, including people who contract him to kill others, and doesn't really discriminate by faction or standing or class.

So I came to this one point where I was massacring the Legion forces at the Fort, and I ran into some children. I'd been ruthlessly slaughtering everyone else here, and my character was a psychotic murderer---a cannibal, who'd help someone out and then chainsaw them to pieces while they were thanking him. So it only made sense that I'd murder the kids too, right? But---I didn't feel right about it. I'd gotten some moral twinges before while RP'ing as this guy, but--not like this. I gulped and held down the button to use my Ripper on the child, but---he screamed, ran away, and I didn't chase him. I cringed at his cries for help and hated myself for trying this. I just left the Fort in disgust. This is one of the strongest experiences I've had in gaming.

A week or so later, I wasn't RP'ing or trying to get immersed, just randomly gunning people down 'cause I was bored. I saw one of the kids and, since I hadn't been trying to get in RP-mode, just saw another bunch of pixels to wipe out. I opened fire and the kid ran away. I continued chasing him and firing and firing and firing and firing, but he never went down. It occurred to me that they'd probably made the kids unkillable.

And that ruined the previous experience because as it turns out there was never going to be any consequence for my action. My inability to kill the frightened child, even while absorbed in the role of a bloodthirsty killing machine, meant nothing because I wouldn't have been able to do anything of any significance even if I HAD been able to push myself over that edge.

So it's not so much that I want to kill kids. I want to be able to choose not to.

It brings to mind that one science experiment where members of the public continued electrocuting a prisoner because an authority figure told them to.

Just a clarification in case someone doesn't know: "Prisoner" in the sense of being strapped in to a death machine and trying to get out, not "prisoner" in the sense of guilt or committing a crime.

In the Milgram experiment, from the button-pusher's point of view the only difference between being the guy on the button and the guy strapped in to the chair was who pulled what name out of a hat. But for the grace of God go I, but I'll still kill you if the man in the coat says so.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milgram_experiment

Kopikatsu:

Acceptable compromise. Make it so that if the parents die, the kid vanishes.

I'm down with that.

Falseprophet:

This works for me.

I think we should mention it in feedback to the folks at Beth. It's a way for them to avoid this rather annoying issue in the future.

The Pro-Dead-Kid side gets: kids disappear when a town is obliterated, and you can at least indirectly remove annoying kids by killing their parents (if you're so inclined).

The Anti-Dead-Kid side gets: no one actively kills kids, no kid corpses are left behind, no one patches in dead kids to make media trouble.

Seriously, Yahtzee? You do realize you're simply extending the old argument that's been used against pretty much every shooter since inception.

If you're going to ask "What's wrong with you people" for wanting to kill children, one might very easily turn around and ask you, "What's wrong with you?" for simply playing a game that lets you kill people -- regardless of age.

Is a child somehow worth more than an adult, Yahtzee? How is putting your sword through annoying little twat Billy any worse than slashing the head off of potato-puller Paul?

The rebuttal argument is right there and has been used for ages, even by you. IT'S A GAME! And part of the reasons we play games is to do things we would never have the ability, or even desire, to do in real life. Yes, your discussion about the designers of the game having a definite narrative and boundaries is a good one. But insulting people and/or questioning their morality for something they want to do in a game pretty much makes you a hypocrite.

"But why more so than murdering them all?"

Well let's see presumably you were having consensual sex with those adults, and you can't have consensual sex with children. So you just added a "rape children" option.

But fine let's say there's a rape adults option but nothing for children. Why is child rape considered worse than child murder?

I don't know, ask an anthropologist. Although lots of people here have argued that murder should be considered a worse crime than rape so not everyone thinks it is worse.

Although it's not just you who can't kill children, nothing can. Not even the wild animals. Kind of breaks immersion a lot more than expecting the wild animals to start humping kids and not seeing it (I'm sorry for that image).

Sylocat:
I too have wondered why killing children is so important to gamers.

It's really not about killing children but about testing the games limits, how will it react if you do something absurd, of course we usually get disappointed because the game just ignores you.

If they just made the children run like hell for help when attacked it would be an infinite improvement, you can sell any silly mechanic / limit if you just present it well.

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